In New York City's five boroughs as well as across the state, clerk's offices -- which are usually closed on Sundays -- opened to marry gay couples for the first time in the state's history. Legislators passed the law legalizing gay marriage last month, and couples eagerly awaited for it to come into effect on Sunday.
New York City issued 659 marriage licenses yesterday and volunteer judges married 484 couples, gay and straight, according to a news release from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office.
"Today, surrounded by family and friends, you are making history," Bloomberg said as he presided over the wedding of two aides at Gracie Mansion, his official residence.
The marriage-rights victory, which Governor Andrew Cuomo orchestrated and which and made headlines worldwide, more than doubled the number of Americans free to marry either gender, to 35 million.
Same-sex marriages in New York will be recognized in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C., where the practice is legal, as well as in Maryland and Rhode Island, where it is not.
Here's a look at the ceremonies and celebrations on the first day: